Ben Nicholson OM 1943-45 (St Ives, Cornwall) 1943–5

Artwork details

Ben Nicholson OM 1894–1982
1943-45 (St Ives, Cornwall)
Date 1943–5
Medium Oil paint and graphite on canvas
Dimensions Support: 406 x 502 mm
frame: 440 x 535 x 65 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1945
On loan to Pinacoteca do Estado (São Paulo, Brazil)

Display caption

Nicholson was at the centre of the London-based British avant-garde. Shortly before the war he moved to Cornwall with his wife Barbara Hepworth and their children. To earn a living he abandoned his white reliefs of the 1930s and returned to painting landscapes, which his dealers Alex Reid & Lefevre considered easier to sell. Landscapes, particularly those of British scenes, became popular during the war. This view of the harbour at St Ives is one of a series begun in 1939. They enabled Nicholson to develop ideas of the previous decade, particularly his experimentation with the positioning of objects in space. He added the Union Jack in the foreground as a gesture to celebrate V.E. Day and the end of the war.

September 2004

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